Top Ten Things To Do In London At Night
London is a fabulous city 24-hours a day. When the sun goes down, the fun goes on, so read below for our guide to enjoying London after dark! Here are our Top Ten Things To Do In London At Night! (en español)
- Which London Night Tours are Best?
- Take a Free Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper or Ghost Tour
- Enjoy a Pub Crawl
Obviously, the best way to see the city at night is to jump onto one of our walking tours! Throughout the summer we run our London Night Tour – a casual stroll along the River Thames, highlighting all the lights and sights of London after dark. We also have on offer our Jack the Ripper tour, leading guests along dark Victorian alleyways and illustrating the story of not just Jack the Ripper, but the London he lived in.
See a Show in the West End
London has one of the most vibrant theatre districts in the world. A true experience to the West End of London includes a trip to the theatre. With discount tickets easily available and a selection of shows as varied as it is impressive, there’s always a way to enjoy the West End on your trip to London. (See our Discount Theatre Tickets guide on how to secure a good price!)
Visit the Houses of Parliament
Whenever the House of Lords or the House of Commons (two of our three-part Parliament, based at the Palace of Westminster) it is totally free for visitors to enter the building, sit in the public gallery, and watch the parliamentary debates. It may seem strange to consider this a night time activity, however, both Houses of Parliament often work late into the night…sometimes even until 11pm! So if you’re looking for something to do after dinner and you’re on a budget – consider a visit to Parliament. Check their schedule ahead of time to check if they’re in session, though, to avoid disappointment.
Hear Big Ben Strike Midnight
The most famous clock in the world, Big Ben is situated right on the banks of the River Thames in easy-to-get-to Westminster. Although a fabulous sight during the day, Big Ben is one of London’s attractions that is equally impressive in the dark! With the clock face lit up, and golden trim glittering in the moonlight, a true London experience can be had when visiting the Clock Tower here at night to hear Ben himself strike in the midnight hour.
Ride the London Eye
The London Eye operates throughout the day and into the night hours in the Autumn, Winter and Spring. Tickets can be bought specifically to see London lit up at night from one of the best vantage points in the city. For those who really want to splash out, it is possible to buy a ‘Day and Night Experience’ which gives the holder TWO rides on the Eye – one in the daylight, and one when the sun has gone.
Watch the Ceremony of the Keys
Every night the Tower of London comes alive with a century old tradition: the Ceremony of the Keys. This is the official locking and securing of the Tower of London – complete with large rings of keys, secret passwords, Beefeaters, and military music. A totally free event, the Ceremony of the Keys is an awesome and unique London experience. Tickets are required, though, so check out our guide on the Ceremony and how to get your tickets. You’ll find plenty of information in our post about the Ceremony of the Keys.
Go to a Museum
London’s museums don’t always operate from 9:00-5:00! Many museums here have late night openings to help you squeeze in even more culture in your visit to town! The British Museum, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery and even the Transport Museum operate after the sun goes down on selected days. Check out Time Out for the full museum late night schedule.
Enjoy Live Music
London is stuffed to the brim with music venues for every budget and taste. From jazz to classical, pop to rock, there’s nothing quite like grabbing a drink and listening to some tunes to while away the night time hours. There’s a plethora of venues to choose from but here are a few of our favourites: Koko, Roundhouse, St. Martin-in-the-Fields (a 17th century church with candlelight concerts!) and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
See a Free Comedy Show
Angel Comedy runs comedy shows 7 nights a week – and every single one is absolutely free. Featuring well-known names, acts new to the scene, and Edinburgh Fringe Award winners, it’s almost always a guaranteed great night! It’s located just off Upper Street in Islington (a stone’s throw from Kings’ Cross). Shows start at 8:00pm but people start queuing early so make sure you give yourself time to grab a spot!
Go to the Cabaret
Get drinks, dinner and an award-winning show all at one venue! The Black Cat Cabaret is a London institution bringing the finest cabaret, live music, circus performers and bon vivant entertainment to the capital. They run shows all throughout the year and each one is pure glamour that’s sure to please!
Once you have done the Top 10 Things to Do at Night in London here’s a bunch more night activities that are a great way to have fun without the sun!
See the Night Sky at Hampstead Observatory
Hampstead Heath is home to the highest point in central London and is a great place to see the London skyline either day or not. However, for those wanting a real treat, consider visiting the Hampstead Scientific Society. They open their telescopes for public usage from 8 – 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays in the Autumn and Winter, for a truly memorable star-gazing experience.
Go Ice Skating
Put on your skates and hit the ice! While the sun goes down early in the winter, the festive atmosphere doesn’t stop. Many ice skating rinks in London are decked out for night time skating with beautiful sparkling lights and special Christmas markets for grabbing a hot pulled wine or a tasty treat! Our post about Ice Skating in London is filled with detail to help you get out on the ice.
See the Christmas Lights
London is famous for its stunning Christmas light installations all over town. Wander down Oxford Street and Regent’s Street to see their yearly-changing displays – and keep an eye out for the stunning window displays in Selfridge’s. But don’t forget New Bond Street and Covent Garden – both areas really pull out all the stops to create a beautiful Christmas atmosphere. Find out where to go from Time Out Magazine.
Go to the Roller Disco
The 80’s are still alive here in London! Listen to some great music (with live DJ’s spinning the cheesiest of 80’s music and the best club beats of today) and relive your youth by roller skating throughout the night. These parties start late and end in the early hours – and people really make the effort so make sure to dress up in your 80’s best! See what’s coming up at Skating Haven.
Take a Bat Walk
Did you know London has an official Bat Group? We’re willing to bet you didn’t because this is one of the kookiest kept secrets in town! The London Bat Group regularly schedules bat walks, events and courses in town. Entirely voluntary, this group works hard to share their love of bats in an interesting and safe way.
Explore Your Inner Artist
Paint Jam London operates pop-up painting events throughout the year – including events for night owls. These night time parties incorporate paint, music and drinks to create a fabulous and fun evening. Part painting class, part pure party, see what’s coming up on their schedule by clicking here.
Grab a Bite
London is a 24 hour city, which means you can even find 24 hour restaurants! So no matter how late (or early!) it may be, it’s always possible for you to get a great meal. Check out our favorite London late night institution VQ and this great list, Thrillist’s Late Night London Restaurants.